Improving Team Skills of Health Care Practitioners: Effects of an Interprofessional Education Program

Elaine V. Cohen, Virge Luce, Manny J. González, Ruth Hagestuen, Gladys González-Ramos, Hillel W. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Health care practitioners in Parkinson’s care need to learn effective interprofessional team skills. This study examines posttraining effects on team skills of health practitioners attending an interprofessional education (IPE) program for team-based Parkinson’s care. Methods: Using a quasi-experimental pre–post design, practitioners (n = 236) in nine professions (physician, nurse and nurse practitioner, physician assistant, occupational, physical and music therapy, speech-language pathology, and social work) completed the validated, self-report Team Skills Scale, before and after the training. Associations of Team Skills Scale change with intention to change practice, measured at end of each training day, and with improved attitudes toward team, knowledge, confidence, and amount of new information were examined. Results: All professions, except physician assistant, significantly improved perceived team skills, as did those showing greatest intention to change practice, with no meaningful differences in magnitude of change across profession groups. Team skills change was significantly associated with improved attitudes toward health care teams, increased knowledge about team and the role of other professions, and new knowledge gained. Confidence in Parkinson’s care showed modest, statistically significant association with team skills improvement. Discussion: The Allied Team Training for Parkinson-IPE program significantly improved perceived team skills of health care practitioners, effectively teaching about skills for collaborative teamwork. Future IPE research should explore whether similar programs in other settings achieve the enhanced team skills competencies with postlicensure practitioners observed here and validate our findings from self-developed measures using larger samples, additional professions, and follow-up of transfer of learning effects through direct observation of skills of actual teams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-194
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


  • continuing
  • interprofessional education
  • professional development
  • team collaboration in health care
  • team skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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